GEA appoints David Wilkinson Automation Service Manager | Automation.com

GEA appoints David Wilkinson Automation Service Manager

May 3, 2013 - GEA Process Engineering appointed David Wilkinson as Automation Service Manager to establish and develop a new service team supporting GEA automation control systems throughout the United Kingdom.

David, who will report to After Sales Business Unit Manager Paul Mullen, has over 14 years’ experience in the industry having worked for some of the world’s leading control systems manufacturers including Honeywell, Siemens and Rockwell Automation.

Support will not be limited to GEA Automation control systems; the team will also be actively targeting companies using other manufacturer’s control systems, who may be intending to outsource their service provision.

“We are in the process of building a team of highly qualified engineers with a broad spectrum of experience who can support all systems, not just GEA installed systems,” said David. “Our aim is to provide an independent 24/7 service to manufacturing businesses, especially those who may find it too expensive to employ their own full-time support staff.”

Qualified engineers are becoming increasingly costly and hard to find. David is confident that GEA’s new service offering will be popular with manufacturers and their production managers.

“The cost of providing 24-hour support, especially for small to medium-sized companies, is often prohibitive, but losses due to downtime have to be kept at an absolute minimum,” said David. “By outsourcing support to us, managers have the peace of mind that any problems will be rectified quickly, without having to keep their own engineers on standby in case of emergencies.”

What differentiates this offering from others is the way in which the GEA engineers work closely to integrate into the customer’s engineering team. Each contract includes a number of engineering days to allow the GEA Engineers to examine the existing system and build a close working relationship with each plant and the engineering staff they are there to assist. “The GEA engineers will become an extension of the customer’s engineering team,” David said when describing the service philosophy.

A further benefit is that all the teams’ engineers are equipped with the latest technology including GEA Assist, which enables them to instantly download all the information they need about an installation - PLC backups, FDS, P&IDs, etc. -  simply by scanning a barcode on the control panel. This means the engineer can start work immediately rather than waste time locating documentation manually, which may take several expensive hours to complete. Furthermore, when the job is completed the customer can be e-mailed details of the cause of the breakdown and the actions taken to rectify it.

“This is the first time GEA has offered a service of this kind to the market and GEA’s Installed base. With the engineers we have on board and the level of technology at their disposal we have an exceptional service proposition that I believe many companies will benefit from,” said David.

About GEA Group
GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft is one of the largest suppliers for the food processing industry and a wide range of other process industries. As an international technology group, the Company focuses on process technology and components for sophisticated production processes. In 2012, GEA generated consolidated revenues in excess of EUR 5.7 billion, 70 percent of which came from the food and energy sectors, which are long-term growth industries. The group employed about 24,500 people worldwide as of December 31, 2012. GEA Group is a market and technology leader in its business areas. It is listed in Germany’s MDAX stock index (G1A, WKN 660 200) and the STOXX® Europe 600 Index.

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